Borana Conservancy

LAIKIPIA, KENYA

Borana lodge and ranch is located at the foot of Mt Kenya just North of the equator. Resting on the Laikipia Plateau, an arid landscape lies to the north and ancient indigenous forests sprawl as far as the eye can see to the south. This 32,000-acre conservation area is home to both Black and White Rhino and a wide variety of other endangered species.

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In 2013, a founding population of 21 Black Rhino were introduced. Once they were settled and had established territories, the fence between Borana and neighbouring Lewa Wildlife Conservancy was dropped forming one landscape; allowing the wildlife free reign over 92,000 acres of intact African wilderness. Together with Lewa, this ecosystem hosts a thriving community of over 200 rhino (both black and white), making this one of East Africa’s largest continuous rhino habitat.

 

Borana Lodge is one of East Africa’s original fully hosted, family-owned lodges, and was the first ecolodge in Laikipia. The lodge is on a journey to being entirely sustainable; power is generated through the solar farm, water is delivered from an under-utilised solar powered borehole, food produce is supplied by an in-house organic Waitabit permaculture farm, and the Lodge offers a wide range of conservation-based activities. Guests are encouraged to get involved in conservation initiatives tracking rhino with the scouts on foot, monitoring lion movements, and engaging in local community projects.

 

All retained earnings generated by Borana Lodge and our other ranching enterprises are re-invested into the sustainable conservation natural capital and the wildlife it supports along with  building local livelihoods.

 

www.borana.co.ke

The 4Cs

Borana joined The Long Run in 2015 embarking on a sustainability journey committing to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce – as a means to contribute meaningfully to the biodiversity and the people of their local region. Borana became a GER® (Global Ecosphere Retreat®) in May 2020.

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CONSERVATION

  • The Laikipia Ewaso Eco System holds the highest diversity of large mammal species of any site of its size in the world.
  • Borana is home to elephant, black rhino, lion, Jackson’s hartebeest, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra and many other endangered species.
  • Constant bio-diversity studies and annual species surveys are conducted, and comprehensive action plans are in place to protect these threatened species.
  • Borana was one of the first ranches to develop a tourism product in 1993, recognising wildlife as an asset. Since then, Borana has continuously evolved, focusing on sustainable rangeland management to increase vegetation cover and collaboration with neighbours and conservation partners to protect wildlife and increase habitat.
  • Borana Conservancy is proud to report zero poaching incidents over the last six years. This is in huge part due to Borana’s community focused conservation efforts along with the dedicated team of over 120 male and female rangers who are all employed from local communities.
  • Such a high ranger density is crucial to the effective biological management and monitoring of rhino, and anti-poaching efforts.
  • This conservation success story could not have been achieved without support from key conservation partners, Save the Rhino International, For Rangers, The Kenya Wildlife service and Lewa wildlife Conservancy.
  • The most urgent challenge Borana currently faces is to secure further safe habitat — it is currently embarking on a programme to expand available rhino habitat for Borana Conservancy and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy onto Il’Ngwesi, land owned by the Il’Ngwesi Maa community.
  • In conjunction, Borana Conservancy remains committed towards achieving and maintaining energy efficiency and minimizing carbon footprint on the environment and surrounding community.

 

COMMUNITY

  • Managing the interaction between humans and wildlife is one of the core objectives of Borana Conservancy.
  • As a result, Borana not only invests heavily in the direct protection of wildlife with rangers on the ground, but also in building local livelihoods.
  • From its inception, Borana has shared the benefits of tourism with neighbours and contributed to initiate a positive change in the perception of wildlife by increasing its potential value.
  • To do this Borana has supported the development of various community tourism enterprises, as well as a mobile health clinic and the Borana Education Support Programme.
  • The Borana Education Support Programme works closely with our local communities and ministry of education, inspiring the lives and futures of children.
    • The focus of the education programme remains on neighbours, with investments in facilities, teaching tools and the schools’ conservation efforts.
    • Since 2009, over 400 scholarships have been awarded and the salaries of over 100 teachers supported.
  • Borana is also working on the establishment of a rangeland management and leadership school which aims to create a permanent infrastructure, veterinary clinic and stock area to teach holistic rangeland management.
  • The Borana Mobile Clinic, established in 2005, visits 10 neighbourhoods on a two-week rotation. The majority of Borana’s local neighbourhoods would otherwise not have adequate access to basic health care, and importantly providing women to take charge of their reproductive cycles.
    • The clinic often travels over 1000 miles per month, treating an average of 700 patients.

 

CULTURE

  • Borana is set in rich external and internal cultural contexts, surrounded by the flamboyant Maasai culture and built on a long history of land stewardship.
  • Borana is also home to the pioneering Dyer family for four generations who started managing the land at the beginning of the last century.
  • In 2019, Borana Lodge guests were the largest financial contributor in visits to the nearby Ngare Ndare Forest and the traditional Arijuju Maasai village, with all funds generated going directly to these communities.
  • Borana Lodge encourage guests to support local women by selling traditionally beaded items in the shop. Beading is a great generator of equality in remote communities, it allows women to remain in their traditional role as mothers, carers and home makers whilst generating an independent income and interreacting with other cultures.
  • Guests are also encouraged to spend time with parts of the Borana Conservancy anti-poaching team through various activities. Allowing guests to interact with the rangers and learn about their culture along with the culture of conservation, which is so integral to Borana.

 

COMMERCE

  • All retained earnings generated by Borana Lodge and other ranching enterprises are invested into the sustainable conservation of land, wildlife and building local livelihoods.
  • Borana Conservancy is built upon a unique sustainable conservation funding model that relies on a combination of visitors paying conservation fees and a shareholder commitment to underwrite budgeted short falls for core conservation costs.
  • The shareholders underwrite the core conservation costs and agree that all profits must be reinvested in the conservancy, embedding Borana’s commercial entities to underwrite the costs of the other 3Cs in the business operations.
  • They share a commitment and commonality of purpose and the overall objectives are to secure and expand Borana Conservancy’s natural capital in perpetuity and ensure that Borana acts as a stabilising influence within the wider landscape.

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